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Connesson: Cosmic Trilogy, The Shining One /Deneve, Le Sage, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Connesson / Le Sage / Rsno / Savage / Deneve
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5076  
Composer:  Guillaume Connesson
Performer:  Eric Le Sage
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

I had the good fortune to be present at a performance of the third part of the Cosmic Trilogy ("Supernova") at a concert given by Stéphane Denève with the National Symphony in Washington, DC several years ago. The music was impressive then, and rehearing it makes it even more so. Guillaume Connesson really knows how to write. His scoring is brilliant, but more importantly he has ideas. He writes tunes and motives that are attractive, capable of development, and individual. Consider the melody about five minutes into the second part of the trilogy, "Une leuer dans l'age
Read more sombre". It's beautiful but not cheap, lyrical and expressive. The first movement, "Aleph", immediately establishes the composer's credentials as someone operating in the grand tradition of French orchestral music. It has an elegance and radiance, as well as a lightness and wit, that are all too rare in contemporary music.

Granted, the concept ("Cosmic") sounds a touch tacky, and frankly the trend toward writing program music seems too often to conceal poverty of invention and a dysfunctional or simplistic handling of form, but that never happens here. Not in the Cosmic Trilogy, and not in The Shining One, a nine-minute-long piano concerto whose brevity likely assures that it won't be performed all that often. Never mind. It's great to hear a composer who is both unabashedly modern but also unafraid of tonality, and who understands how it can be used to create and control musical momentum. There's not a dull moment anywhere in these four pieces.

Denève is surely right to champion Connesson's work, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays it all brilliantly. Chandos made some of its best-engineered recordings with these forces, and it's evident that the label hasn't forgotten how. A major release.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Cosmic Trilogy by Guillaume Connesson
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 21st Century 
Written: France 
Notes: Cosmic Trilogy:
I. Supernova
II. Une lueur dans l’âge sombre
III. Aleph - L’Être de lumière 

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